An online retailer in the U.K. has pulled pajamas that had the words “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” after mental health organizations said the message trivializes people who actually suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.
The product, a Christmas-themed pajama set with holiday decorations and the words “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” across the top, was offered by the site Boohoo.com. As Fox News reported, the pajamas had already gotten quite a backlash online, with many sharing images of the set and complaining that it appeared to make light of a very real mental health disorder.
The pajama set even prompted a response from the mental-health advocacy group OCD Action. As the Sun noted, the group said the message was a dangerous one that hurts the legitimacy of a very real disorder.
“Products which mock or trivialize OCD add to these misconceptions and can stop people who are genuinely affected by the condition seeking help, often due to a fear that they will not be taken seriously,” said the group’s youth service and communications manager, Olivia Bamber.
“It’s important that we challenge these trivializing products, even though their intention is not to cause any distress or offense. OCD Action welcomes conversations with organizations and is happy to help educate them about how they can contribute positively to people’s understanding of this debilitating mental health condition.”
This is not the first time that a product has faced backlash for making light of obsessive compulsive disorder. In 2015, the retail chain Target sold a nearly identical shirt with the words “OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder” in holiday colors. Like the reaction to Boohoo.com, Target also faced criticism from mental health experts and people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, who said the product trivialized their very real struggle.
— DanburyC4PWD (@DanburyC4PWD) November 10, 2015
As the Today show reported, the backlash came just before the busy holiday shopping season and eventually prompted the chain to pull the controversial product. Nearly three years later, Boohoo.com used a similar theme in its pajama set.
The report added that obsessive compulsive disorder can be devastating to those who suffer from it, and there is a high rate of suicide attempts from those who have it. Antoinette D’Orazio, a psychotherapist who specializes in treating the disorder, told the show that 2.2 million American adults are diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, and of that group, close to 27 percent will attempt suicide.
Amid the backlash, Boohoo.com pulled the “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” pajamas from its website.